Anatomy of how crooks use financial secrecy in the UK and New Zealand to rip off international investors with impunity

The financial secrecy regimes in New Zealand and the UK create many opportunities for "jurisdictional regulatory arbitrage," playing each system's weaknesses off against the other to operate in near-perfect secrecy, creating companies whose owners are anonymized but still able to cash out the firms' profits — an enormous boon to fraudsters who run Ponzi schemes and other dodgy enterprises that rely on the UK and New Zealands' reputation as places of good governance and financial uprightness.

Interest NZ's case study on TBA & Associates (Tax Business Advisors Limited) demonstrates how one Ponzi scheme was able to fleece victims in China and then effectively disappear with the money. It's an eye-wateringly dull and complicated bit of accounting and regulatory magic that is pure banality of evil — the bureaucratic trappings of scummy little frauds, that are able to walk away with billion-dollar payouts.

A investor group in Shanghai collected details of at least 3,700 victims in China, and others in nine countries from the United States to the Philippines. Collectively, they claimed to have been fleeced of more than US$1 billion.

Reuters reported here that Eurofinanzza sold TWIC-Trans World Investment Corporation Ltd to Australian Bryan Cook with Cook asking for the company name to change to Euro Forex Investment Ltd. In 2015 Cook received a prison sentence in Germany for intentional sharemarket manipulation. Another UK entity associated with Cook, Abil Finance Corporation LLP, had a presence on the NZ overseas companies register with Eurofinanzza as its agent.

The Eurofinanzza owned New Zealand Capital Finance Ltd featured as the NZ agent for the NZ version of Euro Forex Investment Ltd, and another NZ company embroiled in the Euro Forex saga, PFS Pacific Finance Services Ltd. Both companies were registered in NZ in July 2012 on the overseas companies register as UK companies, with Joaquim Magro Almeida, said to be a 68 year-old Portuguese business consultant, presenting documents to the Companies Office on their behalf. EFIL – Euro Forex Investment Ltd – yet another UK company in the Euro Forex saga that found its way onto the NZ Companies Register, also appears to have come from the Eurofinanzza stable.

Even the Euro Forex UK successor company, FXCAP Futures LLP, complete with Seychelles companies as its officers, had a NZ offshoot whose agent was Eurofinanzza.

The misuse of NZ companies, Part III. Backdoor access via the UK – a classic cross jurisdictional regulatory arbitrage play [Gareth Vaughan/Interest NZ]

(via Naked Capitalism)